Creamy Cilantro Salad Dressing

I made a mixed greens salad with bell peppers, black beans, avocado, and shrimp mixed in. I decided to try my hand at a creamy dressing to go on it, and I made Greek yogurt the base and cilantro the flavoring. I apologize for not having a picture of the dressing itself on this post. The concoction I made included apple cider vinegar, which gave it an unappealing color. With white vinegar, the results will be better and more attractive. 🙂

Shrimp fiesta salad with black beans and avocado.

Shrimp fiesta salad with black beans and avocado.

Ingredients:

1TBS plain Greek yogurt

1TSP white vinegar

2TSP minced cilantro

1TSP kosher salt

1/2TSP chili powder

1/2TSP water

Mix your Greek yogurt, vinegar, and water first, then fold in the cilantro and other seasonings. The vinegar can probably be swapped out for fresh lime juice, achieving the same effect. I plan to try this next.

For added kick, sprinkle in some cayenne pepper, or a minced slice of jalapeño.

Quick Tip #4: Seasonings and Flavors

Monday’s quick tip is all about flavor! Fun facts: Did you know that cumin does wonders for your digestive health? It’s also high in antioxidants. Thyme is helpful for treating acne and high blood pressure. Explore your spice rack! It’s tasty and beneficial to your health!

Note: If you use Tony Chachere’s, you don’t need to use salt.
Also, just a dash of cayenne pepper will take you a long way. 🙂

Pumpkin Puree

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Once your pumpkin is skinned and gutted, you can start cutting it down into smaller pieces to work with.

1. Use a large, sharpened butcher knife, and cut the pumpkin flesh into cubed pieces.

2. Heat a large pot of water. If your puree will be for a savory dish, you can salt the water for taste. I use coarse kosher salt, but plain table salt works fine. Be sure to taste the water as you salt it so that it doesn’t end up too salty.

 

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3. Add the pumpkin cubes to the pot of water and bring to a low simmer. If your water boils, turn off the heat and place a lid on the pot. We want to soften the pumpkin pieces for pureeing in the blender, but we don’t want to boil them to mush.

4. Use a large spoon to stir the pumpkin pieces and test for softness. Once they are soft to the touch with the spoon, drain the water and transfer the pieces to your blender. Save a small amount of this water to add to your blender for the puree if needed.

5. Depending on your blender’s capacity, speed, and blade type, you may or may not need to utilize some of the water from your pot to puree your pumpkin. Whichever method you choose, you’ll want to end up with a puree that is thick and creamy in texture, and can slide off of a spoon. Not too watery, but not too thick.

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I forgot to snap a picture of my puree when it was finished, (#bloggerfail) but it had the same consistency as the pureed carrot pictured.

6. Once you’ve achieved the consistency needed for your puree, you can store it in containers in the refrigerator for immediate use (1-2 days) or freezer for later use. Purees work great for baby food, soups, and smoothies, and I’m a little mad at myself for not setting some aside for a smoothie after I was finished.